Mediated Urban Landscape: reflecting the impacts, challenges and outcomes of the participants in CyberParks’s Training School

Hélène Veiga Gomes,
March 25th, 2016 to April 7th, 2016

Considering the frame of interaction between urban space and digital technologies, CyberParks Project organized a Training School in order to reflect and generate new outputs about the topic. Coordinated by Prof. Konstantinos Ioannidis, the Training School « Enhancements : Mediated Digital Landscape » took place during four days (from the 29th March to the 1st April 2016) in the greek city of Thessaloniki. In the context of a Short-Term Scientific Mission (STSM), I participated as an anthropologist to assume an external outlook and evaluate the impacts and success of the school.
The Training School shift from the classical hierarchical relationship to a participatory process of learning, empowering 31 participants coming from 16 different European countries in this extra scholar formation and looking to build a new network of makers in the urban contemporary field.
Following this pedagogical approach, the « Action Learning » program consists on 9 workshops driven by 15 tutors representing a wide scale of European countries, schools, field works, approaches and areas of research. Attending to one workshop per half-day, the participants were invited to work in teams, starting from a concept or a case study introduced by the tutor and lead to produce a common project, ending with a public presentation.
Divided in four modules, the full program was composed by the following topics: « Transforming Value », « Spatial and Digital Methods », « The Aesthetics of Mediated Experiences and Social Life in Mediated Environments » and focused on a main case study : the Gardens of the Waterfront of Thessaloniki.
As an anthropologist, I followed the whole process of the Training School using different methods to complete the evaluation. I first started with a pre-poll to collect the expectation of the participants. During the development of the Training School, I observed and participated the workshops and I subsequently realized informal interviews with the participants and the tutors to size the challenges and evaluate the results. Finally, I conceived a second post-poll and sent the participants after the Training School to collect their feed-back and analyse the highlights and impacts of the Training School within their personal trajectories.